Sunday, April 18, 2010

Last Blog Hurray!!! (Sorry i just dont blog)

Software Development on Evolving Platforms CS3216.
Looking at this course name, it make me wonder it’s Software Development that I’m learn. It isn't the normally CS module that you would find in NUS, I definitely learn a lot more life skills and understand myself more throughout the whole module. The whole course in CS3216 taught more than just CS stuff; it’s related to business, personal networking and understands whom you are and what I want in my life.

Share your idea and ask for help if you need.
During the course of starting Voucherous, there are a lot of questions that needs to be answer and more often than not your network of contacts might help if you ask. In the midst of getting businesses on board to try our services, we need a draft of a legal contract from a lawyer. The first thought I had was to give NUS Enterprise Cluster a try, since they have an in-house lawyer and I'm part of NOC alumni. To keep story short, after meeting the Prof incharge I didn't even manage to get a contact to their lawyers or even a reply email -.-, but that doesn't mean that you should try. Thanks to Prof Ben, with his contacts we manage to have a lawyer to draft a contract on deferred payment.

The same lesson was taught to me a few months back when I'm still in a startup company. The founder of the company once told me "If you never ask, you would probability lose this only chance, and there nothing wrong with rejection." - Lesson learns don’t be afraid to ask help and don't be afraid of rejection.

Sharing you idea (even with stranger) could bring unexpected rewards. We manage to arrange a few meeting with some speakers from Prof Ben's class. Eg. Ash and Chewy. Met with Chewy over at Microsoft Headquarter in Singapore, through his guidance, he let us understand the market a lot better and even willing to hook us up with to help to promote voucherous if we go live. Chinese always had this concept of not sharing your ideas/skills with other people. Afraid that they might steal it, guess this proof you wrong on that.

Making choices. Be decisive.
(Although i still find myself wishy washy at times.) Knowing when to move on. The dateline was drawing close for our final project and we had yet come out with a first UI design. The first designer was great! But we had to move on because of the dateline drawing closer. With her current job commitment, it was hard for her to find free time to design the site. It was then to make a choice to look for another. It wasn’t an easy decision to just let go of someone who’s in the team. It wasn’t easy for me.

Understanding the market.
"Other people don't think like you", the quote from Chewy. Don’t assume you understand the market. While we start looking out for businesses to partner with us, we never thought that restaurants was one of the first priority list that we should look out first, after the first survey that was conducted with more than 200 people responded. Restaurants seem to be first obvious choices. Find means and way to understand the target market that you are targeting and do research on them!

Customer discovery was first taught by Steve Blank. Anyone whom is interested in starting a business should read this.

Again, thank Prof Ben for all the hard work that you have put in. I was really hoping to understand you more on a personal level, hope it’s possible.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Facebook Marketplace

A job well done for the team Adhiraj Joshua, Xialin andReuben. It a brilliant idea to use video as a form of presentation, in my own opinion. If anyone need the url for the video it's here

Just want to highlight a few key pointers that the team has bought up.

1. The Shout out feature.
What I believe a shout out feature actually encourage users/buyers to share some personal information about the things they are looking at buying. With that friends could actually chip in their two cents for whatever classifieds item that they might be looking at. This might provide great insight for the user. An example, if you come across a classifieds listing for a digital camera, your “shout” could be something like “has anyone tried this brand?” Or your “shout” could be something as simple as “should I buy this?”

A nice thread of comments within your network of friend would slowly appear as a result of a single posting. It created a nice social graph for Facebook and Marketplace, why you would ask? It engage you and your friend more and that's what social network is all about and you would login more frequently. Secondly, it create a conversation around the classifieds item spreading and gaining a good amount of traction and attention either good or bad.

I would portability trust my friend insight on the item more then what is written on the description by the seller.

2. Advertising your ads
One of the feature mention by the team was that marketplace could help you advertise your ad by posting on friends feeds or wall. I would say there still a limit of what this advertisement could do. The worst case scenario from this kind of posting is that no one actually write a comment or re-post the ads. Plus it still limits the number of eye ball on the items or worst view as spamming ads to your friends wall.

On the other hand if your friends help you re post the by any means. It would actually add a lot of credibility for you and your items. The main advantage I would say that marketplace has over other stand alone site is that facebook is basically a CRM software using Social Network if you manage it well. You could retain and re-engage those customer that brought stuff from you.

3. Not able to make payments.
After reading more about Oodle I had a better understanding on marketplace. It a online free classifieds for people to use, and when you are talking about classifieds one can't run away from the giant success free classifieds like I would guess that facebook is trying to create something similar to craigslist and craigslist is also powered by location basic search also. I believe we won't really get to see any form of payment through facebook's marketplace anytime soon. it doesn't make sense for them to do so.

Overall, I don't think marketplace would take off in Singapore. The culture here is a little different. In the US, it normally to see families selling off their furniture in front of their house. Most people over there would actually do that and what marketplace provide is the ability to post such deals. With it location base search, all items that you search are within the each states and you pick up the item and save a lot on transportation. There's no middle man taking a percent of what you sell.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Credit or Debit card payment?

If anyone is interested in payment, this article is quite interested if you want to understand why there's two form of payment? Credit and Debit and why is one better then the other.

Someone once told me before (no idea if it true), the Credit card system are form by company who give out loan and Debit system are those offer by the bank. Therefore credit seem to be pro-consumer in some way or another. Read up the article.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wow.... finally!!! the end of the first Facebook assignment. It really had been a hell long week. Yet another assignment is due this coming monday. Thought of sharing this site, call and if you need information for this coming presentation. It some sites that i visited very often to understand the upcoming apps ( games ) in social space and iphone with data support. :D hope it helps.

Something about AWS
I'm really impress by the speed of amazon to put so many feature set in to AWS since last June 09 when I first use them. I could still recall at that time they would have S3, EC2, EBS and some other stuff. They dont even have a web front management tool to setup the instances. I had to install a plugin call Elasticfox for firefox, it provide a user interface to play with AWS. if anyone of you still want to try this our or just google elastic fox. Anyway i'm really impress, within 6 month it seem that amazon has focus all it's development team in to AWS. Look at how many types of service it provide now..... I was still setting up a load balancing for the instance back then with monitoring system. Hai if they could just come out earlier, I wont suffer that much back then.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Agile Planning "Management"

A framework for Scrum management. For those who wants to read up more on scrum. Here's is a proven framework that a company use.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What you hope to learn in CS3216

Sorry guys. I guess I'm the last one to start a blog. Not really use to blogging or write daily stuff in the internet (Guess it's an excuses from my part for being lazy.) I'm not really good at writing stuff so bear with me.
"If I dun see your blog in the next 24 hours, I will throw you out of CS3216 and you'd have to find another way to drop out of NUS. I'm not kidding. :-)" - Prof Leong (my fault. sorry about that Prof.)

What I really hope to learn?

Guess I'm going to fake this out? haha. But the truth is CS3216 caught by attention when it first started. (I didn't know the course name at that time) All I could remember was the first facebook poster that was put up around Soc Basement with Mark Zucketberg photo in it. It was during that time when Google was trying to buy the facebook. Microsoft kind of "blast" Google deal with a higher valuation of the company. Anyway that's history.

Back then I was really excited to find out the reason why facebook was value at such a high valuation and could I not do something similar? haha, it may sound silly but that was a dream I had. I'm been programming at least for 6 yrs from poly till now, for school project, freelance project, job's requirement and recently it got me wondering, why can't i create something for myself?

Guess that the main reason why i join the module. Taking my first step out to try working for myself and it part of school work too, it a beautiful combination!!

I'm more of a technical person and in to gaming stuff. So I guess my blog will be on games and technical stuff that I come across. :)

My next post should be on AWS. I got my chance to play with EC2 when I was setup a "LAMP" server and a Tomcat Apache server for flex, spring, blazeDS integration for a company that i was work with during my NOC trip. So the next few days I'll blog something on that. :) there's alot of tutorial out there to setup EC2.